Thursday, February 5, 2009
Super Bowl Requiem
Last weekend the Steelers became the new NFL Champs by giving the Arizona Cardinals their 8th loss of the season..yaaaaaay.
Seriously, anybody who says this was the Greatest Super Bowl ever is either a Steelers fan or has the memory of a goldfish. The greatest SB ever was the one last year. It was pretty much the same ending as this year's if you can remember back that far. The Patriots scored and it looked like it was over, then the Giants came back and scored, then the Patriots got the ball one last time and couldn't make magic happen in the last minute.
It was the same thing this year. The Cardinals finally stopped getting personal fouls called on them long enough to actually give their offense the ball, and finally said oh the hell with this Anquan Boldin bullshit, we're throwing the ball to that dreadlocked freakazoid if youve got 5 guys on him..try and stop him. Once they made up their minds to do that, it was comeback time. A 20-7 deficit quickly became a 23-20 Cards lead, capped off by a really picturesque play where Fitzgerald caught a pass over the middle and just left everyone in the dust to break a long TD.
That's where the Steeler fan whose house I was at started throwing stuff and yelling F-bombs with 2 year olds around, and I'm like, "Dude it's not over yet, there's plenty of time left, this is the Cardinals, they gave up 426 points this year...I think the Steelers can at least manage a field goal out of their 2 minute drill." So, predictably, the Steelers went right down the field and capped off the drive with a beautiful catch by San Antonio Holmes in the corner of the end zone to give them the lead.
It was a great catch, although the cover of the new SI clearly shows that he only got one foot on the ground in the end zone:
Thats one toe on the ground and the other foot tucked behind it. Not two feet in.
Then there's the Kurt Warner fumble that ended the game. The fumble that ended the Super Bowl that I guess they said they reviewed only they didn't have the ref announce the play was under review or announce that the ruling on the field stood. Shit, it's only the Super Bowl, could they at least rubber stamp that with some due process? I mean, they already flagged Arizona for 106 yards in penalties, including 3 personal fouls on one drive. That's almost twice what the Steelers managed to stumble for in rushing yards. I'm not going to sit here and say "Oh the game is fixed", but my God, this is two Super Bowls in the last 4 years I have seen the Steelers barely beat a mediocre team and get a lot of help from the refs. So I don't know what's up with that.
So, no, this was not the Greatest Super Bowl ever, and if it wasn't for the last 5 minutes it would have been a very bad Super Bowl. The Steelers made it look like a monumental task to beat a team that went 9-7 this year and outscored its opposition by a grand total of 1 point in the regular season.
But, they did win the Super Bowl, for the second time in 4 years. They are the Champions of an NFL season that will probably best be remembered for having a team that went 0-16, a team that went 1-15 in 2007 making the playoffs in 2008, and an NFC Champion that almost gave up more points than they scored during the regular season.
It was a really, really bad NFL season. The "On any given Sunday.." parity trap has given us a league that is worse than mediocre. There is such a thing as too much competitive balance.
Of course, this was the most watched Super Bowl ever, with a record in advertising fees paid even though we are in the throes of economic meltdown. So what do I know.
Posted by GRRM Jr. at 7:32 AM